How do you pray?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by KarimK, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. KarimK

    KarimK New Member

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    When I was a kid and used to go to church every Sunday, I'd see all those people pray around me. I did try to pray. I closed my eyes and tried "talking to God" or whatever it was the priest taught us to do. Pray to God, talk to Jesus in your heart he will answer you. (I think it was early lessons in wishful thinking, but who knows). It never worked for me. I'd try saying things like the Hail Mary, Our Father over and over again, close my eyes, think about God (i.e a fat jolly man with a bear, sitting on a cloud), whatever. It never did work. I also saw praying as a business deal : "I'll pray right now so I'll get some candy later".

    And yet, all those people around me, they were really into it. I mean you'd think that by praying they had access to a higher level of consciousness or that their souls were transported somewhere high above. I don't know. I never asked anyone how they prayed, what did they pray for, etc.

    So now I'm asking you, all those of you who pray : who do you pray to? how do you pray? do you do it at certain times of the day, do you do it in certain places, indoor, outdoor..? what actually happens when you pray? or, I think it all boils down to : what is prayer?

    I don't know, when I think about it, prayer sounds to me like introspection + a bit of wishful thinking. But then again, I don't think I've ever really "prayed".
     
  2. LeoSalinas22

    LeoSalinas22 merely a shadow...

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    what did you think of the our Father? i mean did you really read it and see the extra meaning behind it? what did you think. just curious.
     
  3. KarimK

    KarimK New Member

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    Back then?
    I didn't even think of the words. I just figured it was something to say over and over again because that was the right thing to do. It was all very mechanical.
    I guess I also thought it was some sort of magic spell, you know, that I'd have to say over and over again? :eek:

    Oh except for the "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us." part which I thought was beautiful but impossible to do. Especially when I saw how most people who said the Our Father acted.
     
  4. LeoSalinas22

    LeoSalinas22 merely a shadow...

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    hello karim,
    i guess, it is like a magic spell. lol. if you read it carefully, you will notice that the prayer isn't even for us but for God Himself. it is mainly glorifying Him. so in a sense, we are left out of the picture and are only left with Him. sorry, if you think that is weird.

    i always keep hearing that! that is exactly why i am not part of a church. because i myself keep seeing the hypocracies that are displayed by some of these "church leaders". i don't blame you for that.

    to answer your previous questions because it is only fair since you started this thread. i always pray to God. i am not a muslim but i do tend to prostrate myself in private and say the our Father, or right before i go to sleep while i am thinking about my day, i say the our Father. i do it outdoor and indoor. i make the biggest effort to put a my hand and knee on earth and grass to say a prayer since it makes me feel more at one with God. as for what happens? nothing really. i will tell you though, that eventually things happen. they take awhile but they do happen. but they have to be to the glory of God and not for us, never for us but for Him. and to me that is what prayer is, it is asking God what we can do for Him and not what He can do for us.
     
  5. JosephM

    JosephM New Member

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    Hi All,

    It seems to me that prayer is simply a communion with God. It is usually considered a verbal request or petition to God in the Biblical sense but it includes anything that could be considered as communion with God verbally or non-verbally.

    To me, it seems that prayer is for the benefit of the prayer and not God. After all, he knows what we need even before we ask. It serves to edify or build up the prayer as it exercises his/her faith. Prayer can be a constant and non verbal thing by simply focusing on the very source of ones being and surrendering all those thoughts that come to mind that oppose love or peace to God and only entertaining thoughts that re-enforce Love and Peace. The essence of God is Love and in that Love is found a profound Peace. Therefore, keeping ones mind receptive to only that which is his essence brings us into conscious communion with him and effectively transforms us into his image.

    Just some thoughts on the subject to consider,
    Love and Peace,
    JM

    Just some
     
  6. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    I agree with Joseph that it's a type of communion with G!d. It can also be a sort of self-assessment. We're presented with certain standards for the way the world should be and if we're not helping to make that happen, we can consider our actions. Even our petitions stand as a type of self-assessment. How can we wait for G!d? We must take action. But there are different types of prayer.

    There are times when we praise G!d, times when we offer gratitude, times when we petition, times when we just share our problems. There is formal prayer and informal prayer. Sometimes prayer is an amazing experience and other times it's just something we feel obligated to do much like other disciplines. It can be ecstatic and it can be meditative. It can be vocalized and it can be silent. We can have a strong sense of where the prayer is directed or we can pray with little sense of who or what it might be going to.We can believe our prayers are head by G!d or only believe our prayer have an effect on ourselves.
     
  7. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    Remember the story of Mary and Martha, where Martha was busy running around serving the guests while Mary simply sat at Jesus' feet and listened. Then Martha complained that Mary wasn't doing anything, but Jesus said that Mary has the one thing that is needful.

    There has to be a balance in our lives. Yes, we are so busy in trying to serve God, serve others, that we miss the relationship that we need with God. If God is our Father, then we should feel free to approach God as a child, seeking His Comfort, His Love, His peace, knowing that He Loves us more than we know. Yes, sin keeps us at bay, but He is always willing to forgive us and clean us up and take us into His Presence with joy. Prayer is the means to approach God, in the confines of your own heart. I do not visualize God sitting up on a throne in Heaven, but more of a Laz-E-Boy whereby I can climb up and open myself up to Him in all my thoughts, good or bad. He understands me better than I know myself and have "heard" Him speak to my heart on different issues that are on my mind, not in an audible way, but just in thoughts that come to me that doesn't seem to have occurred to me before, if that makes sense. Of course, I always check to make sure that anything I sense lines up with His Word.

    I think prayer also teaches us to be less selfish, especially when we are taught to pray for others. There is a sense of compassion when I pray for someone else. And many times, those prayers induces me to action about how I can remedy the situation. Sometimes if I have a problem in my life that I can't figure out, I find that solution after some time in prayer.

    Prayer puts us in line with God's will. It allows us to see ourselves in the mirror and what we need to do to effect change. I've also seen positive answers to prayer, sometimes in pleasantly unexpected ways.

    Man, I could go on and on about this, but there is just something about prayer that helps things go right, for some reason. Pray makes God accessible.
     
  8. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    However.. The way of prayer isn't important... I mean as in... Open eyes, shut eyes, bowed head, kneeling, standing, laying, sitting, saying it out loud saying it silent, hands clasped together lol... All are acceptable (in christian faith.) Look in the bible there are many examples of people praying in many methods.... I think tone and harmony are the only things that are important... Such as respectfully and not trying to make your god do something he simply wouldn't..... *nods*


    Goes off *please god give me alot of money... and bring thy wrath down upon Paris Hilton, in god we trust... amen.*
     
  9. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    I do not recognise the God as a single point to which I should direct my thoughts, or prayers. Though I do indeed pray. Instead I see it as a force of my will projected out from me into the universe to manifest my needs. Force in this regard equates to a combination of self-belief and profound desire. If I would merely 'like' something I will never get it. If I wish it in every molecule in my body I will. That said no force of will will ever paint the moon tartan so the wish has to be reasonably achievable. And also there is that saying "be careful what you wish for, you may get it". I have learned this painful lesson with a couple of women I have been with :rolleyes:

    Regards

    Tao
     
  10. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    Ah, the gift that keeps on giving, Tao?

    On a more serious note, this wouldn't be a sorta "The Secret" or "Laws of Attraction" kind of thing, would it?
     
  11. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    ......and giving and giving and giving. till i'm chewing asprin like they are smarties :p

    Not sure what "The Secret" is but the laws of attraction are close. You have to send out a 'wave' which in turn will return to you with what you need to manifest your goal.

    Tao
     
  12. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    Penicillin works better. :rolleyes:



    "The Secret" was a big promotion about a book (by Rhonda Byrne) and movie that recently came out that supposedly contains ancient knowledge of basically....the law of attraction. I don't know if that was such a big secret other than the fact that the promotion played up so much on "The Secret" aspect before anyone knew what it was, which turned out to be something people already knew, but they weren't going to tell you that, you know what I mean? The premise is that many famous historic figures knew the secret, hence they became famous. People like Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, yada, yada... Seems the law of attraction works best for people who know the secret and write a book about it and hence attracts money from people who are gullible enough to buy the book. Funny how it works that way, don't it?
     
  13. Impqueen

    Impqueen Queen of the Imps

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    I sort of reach out towards the god I'm praying to with my mind and feelings and think/visualise what I'm praying for. I try to be still when I'm doing it but other than that there's no physical position I adopt. I sometimes close my eyes but more to shut out distractions than because it's innately necessary.

    I don't pray often to be honest. Usually it's for safety on a car journey, or for the people involved in a car crash we've just passed.
     
  14. LeoSalinas22

    LeoSalinas22 merely a shadow...

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    hi impqueen,
    i am curious, which god do you pray too? does this entity give you guidelines on how to live life? does it have a name? hope to hear from you soon. thanks.
     
  15. Impqueen

    Impqueen Queen of the Imps

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    The Earth (which I tend to personify as a Goddess), Thor/Thunor and once, Freya. I pray to the Earth for help with my plants or for other things she might have 'jurisdiction' over. Thor for protection and strength (the car crashes are a time I am particularly drawn to him). The time I prayed to Freya I was more having a conversation than praying as such.

    The Earth doesn't give guidelines. I think for her there is life and the rules of life are very few. I try to minimise the harm I do to her.

    The germanic path is one I am still investigating, and one I might take elements from. Heathenry does have a moral code - the Havamal (words of the High One i.e words of Odin) is a primary source for this. Though the Havamal is more advice for a good life than a moral code that must not be broken. Thor and Freya don't give me guidelines. At least not yet.

    From a moral perspective I find the Wiccan statement 'An it harm none, do what you will' to be what I have lived by, even before I'd ever heard the phrase.

    :eek: All areas I'm still thinking about.
     
  16. LeoSalinas22

    LeoSalinas22 merely a shadow...

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    hi imqueen,
    this is truly a fascinating response! i have never known anyone to pray in a polytheist manner. yes, i have to agree that our planet earth is a wondrous work in itself. the trees, the wind, the life that crawls all over her, is just so amazing. and that is not only it! we still have all of the heavens to see. the moral statement i always look to is found particularly in a psalm in the bible:

    Psalms 40 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. thank you so much for your response, impqueen. i look forward to chatting more in future posts. thanks again and God bless you...
     
  17. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    Dondi,

    lol, well good marketing is a kind of investment of prayer too. There are certain techniques that definitely work, such as your example. The power you attempt to harness through prayer is distorted by religion to be something we supplicate ourselves to some notion of God for. My belief is rather it is a neutral field of energy that you can call on to serve any purpose, good or bad. Look at the power of self-belief Adolf Hitler had as a good example of the negative. To me the notion of God is almost invariably anthropocentric and this has been something deliberately encouraged by the holders of the arcane truths. Because it limits the peons ability to have access to the power these elites are able to use to serve their will. The energy we can harness is as accessible by the beggar with 1 leg in Calcuta as it is by Bill Gates or the Pope. but no good businessperson gives away their trade secrets if they can help it.


    ImpQueen,

    I was wondering have you ever taken a look at Gaia theory?


    regards

    Tao
     
  18. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    Sort of like "The Force"?


    Perhaps in some circles. But the idea of a "heavenly father" who is open to His children, particularly in Jesus' teachings that the poor and the halt are likewise welcome, invites those with simple faith to approach God with childlike wonder. Indeed, He taught that you must come as a child.


    I absolutely agree. God has no respect to persons. But there is no real secret to prayer, just trust in God.
     
  19. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    Yes!! lol i dont like star wars tho.








    I would say trust in oneself is far far more important.

    Regards

    Tao
     
  20. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    I won't agree the relativity of that statement. But let's just say I tried that once, and it didn't work. It was only when I found myself in relation to God that I could trust myself. And it's still a struggle.
     

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